Hayden Paddon has continued to not rule out a return to the World Rally Championship, despite a tumultuous 2019 campaign to get back into the series.
The former Hyundai factory driver has confirmed he’s in talks regarding potential drives in both a fully blown WRC entry or in the feeder R5 class.
“Great to see the 2021 WRC season underway this week in Monte Carlo,” the local champion said in a post on social media.
“While we have a lot of good things happening here in NZ, WRC is not a completely closed door just yet, with some discussions on-going in the background. Looking at both WRC and R5 opportunities.
“There are certainly a few challenges in the world at present that makes it a little more difficult, but have not given up yet!”
After being ousted from a seat with Hyundai Motorsport, Paddon confirmed several cameo drives with Ford’s M-Sport outfit in 2019. It was initially a round in Finland, but then blossomed into an R5-based campaign at Wales Rally Great Britain and — the jewel in the crown — a run at Rally Australia.
Sadly for Paddon, a crash during testing ended his Finland campaign before the event had begun. And then the catastrophic bushfires that destroyed thousands of acres of Australian landscape forced the series closer to be cancelled.
Paddon has already confirmed that he was set to compete in four rounds of the WRC last season in a striking locally backed Hyundai i20, in a programme that ended up being halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the cancellation of Rally New Zealand.